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Taking Brooksby for a test drive

Live the Life experience allows prospective residents to try out Brooksby lifestyle

Created date

March 22nd, 2016
Carol and Peter Seamans

Carol and Peter Seamans moved to Brooksby in August 2015 after spending two nights at the community as part of the Live the Life program.

“I’ve known about Brooksby Village for many years,” says Jeanne Weikert, who moved to the Peabody community from Lexington, Mass., in April 2015. “It’s home to a huge variety of people and activities, and it’s an attractive campus.”

Jeanne, a pastoral psychologist and author, says she was initially drawn to Brooksby’s vibrant social calendar.

“Staying active and living in community with others is very important for our well-being,” she says.

In November 2014, Jeanne scheduled a stay in Brooksby’s guest suite through the community’s Live the Life program, which allows prospective residents to experience the Brooksby lifestyle during a one- or two-night stay on campus.

Guests work with Sales Associate Stefanie Graves to customize their Live the Life experience based on their preferences and interests.

Jeanne’s active lifestyle includes biking and skiing, so Brooksby’s fitness offerings were near the top of her list.

“I took a strength-training class on the first day and another exercise class on the second day,” says Jeanne, who also toured the creative arts studio and ate in three of the on-site restaurants during her stay.

Brooksby after hours

“Brooksby’s sales team is wonderful about answering questions, but my overnight stay allowed me to experience the community after hours,” says Jeanne. “It also gave me a feel for the features I wanted in an apartment.”

After Jeanne’s stay, she made a return visit to Brooksby with her daughter to look at floor plans.

“I chose a two bedroom, one bath Fairmont-style apartment because I like to cook, and the kitchen in the Fairmont can accommodate any gathering,” says Jeanne. “I also wanted the second bedroom to use as an office.”

Since moving in, Jeanne says she’s formed strong friendships with others who moved to Brooksby around the same time.

“We kept running into each other and became a sub-family,” she says. “That group of friends has become the starting point for branching out to others in the community.”

While Jeanne says she was already on track to move to Brooksby, her Live the Life stay confirmed her decision.

“I was certainly moving in that direction, but my Live the Life experience made it that much easier to go forward,” she says. “I felt confident I was making the right decision.”

Connecting with other residents

Peter and Carol Seamans were also considering a move to Brooksby when they booked a Live the Life stay at the Peabody community.

“We had a two-year plan,” says Carol. “We were just starting to think about retirement communities when we learned of the Live the Life opportunity at Brooksby.”

Peter and Carol spent two nights in a guest suite in June 2015. Brooksby residents Bob and Marilyn Waehler hosted them for dinner during their first evening at the community.

“Stefanie [Graves] matched us up with Bob and Marilyn, who invited us to their apartment for snacks and a drink before dinner,” says Carol. “We just clicked, and they’ve become great friends of ours.”

Graves began her career at Brooksby in the fitness center, a position that gave her constant interaction with residents. She relies on that expertise when she matches Live the Life guests with current Brooksby residents.

“I talk with our overnight guests to learn about their interests and what they like to do,” says Graves. “I try to pair them up with residents who share those same interests.”

Peter and Carol joined another Brooksby couple, Jim and Peg Schaepe, for dinner during their second night at the community.

“Stefanie matched us up well,” says Carol. “Jim and Peg have also become close friends.”

Accelerated timeline

Following their stay, Peter and Carol returned to their home in Beverly. They received a call from Laurie Phillips, Brooksby’s personal moving consultant, a few weeks later.

“Laurie told us she had an apartment available that might interest us,” says Peter. “We drove over to look at it.”

When Peter and Carol saw the two-bedroom, two-bath Jackson-style apartment with an abundance of natural light, they decided to accelerate their timeline for moving.

“We loved all the windows in the apartment and the views overlooking the courtyard,” says Carol.

The couple listed their Beverly home, which sold within two days, and they moved to Brooksby on August 7, 2015.

“Our Live the Life stay helped us make an informed decision,” says Carol. “It gave us a feel for the community, and it also helped us visualize how we could arrange the furniture in our new apartment.”

Peter and Carol agree the greatest benefits from their Live the Life experience were the relationships they formed with their resident hosts.

“We had a built-in social group when we moved in,” says Carol. “We still get together regularly with the Waehlers and the Schaepes and a few other residents. We take turns hosting each other for snacks and drinks in our apartments before dinner, then we’ll have dinner together at one of Brooksby’s restaurants and play games afterward.”

In December, Peter and Carol joined several of their new friends for a day trip to Salisbury Beach to look at holiday lights.

“Our Live the Life experience gave us a broader sense of what we were moving into,” says Carol. “It also gave us people to call with questions once we moved in. I’d recommend the Live the Life program to anyone who’s considering a move to Brooksby.”